Pope Francis began his 2016 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia by stating “The joy of love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.” What a simple, yet profound statement; since the family is the domestic Church, it stands to reason that the family’s joy is both a microcosm and a fulfillment of the Church’s joy. With this emphasis on joy in mind, the World Meeting of Families 2018 (WMOF2018) in Dublin, Ireland, whose theme is “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World,” is now underway.


The World Meeting of Families, which takes place every three years, gives us as Catholics an opportunity to undertake guided reflection on the importance and opportunities of the family. Digital communication makes possible the worldwide dissemination of resources for remote participation in the WMOF2018—so, even if you are not among the thousands of Catholics fortunate enough to be participating in the uplifting festivities in person, you can still take advantage of many opportunities to experience the event! Every Catholic family can take a few moments each day of the WMOF2018 to pray its Official Prayer and can watch EWTN’s coverage of and commentary on this special event from August 21 through August 26.


With a universal theme and catholic relevance, the WMOF2018 benefits from the traditional Irish hospitality of the host nation, and the resources on the event’s website give visitors a flavor of Irish history and culture. From the story behind the mascot, Éirinn; to the explanation of the logo; to the invitation to discover the beauty of Knock Shrine, the website is a warm welcome to the joys and depth of the Catholic faith in Ireland.


WMOF2018 is an invitation to all of us to appreciate how something so simple, yet so complex—the life of our families—can deepen our own faith and help us to live out God’s generous plan for us. Let’s allow this special event to enrich our faith and to inspire us to bring the “the joy of love” to all the world!